Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Important information regarding choosing a mover in 2019!

After weathering the storm of a driver shortage last year, all major van lines are making pricing adjustments now for 2019 to insure loads are picked up by good drivers and crews.  Last year, even major van lines experienced some issues with shipments and timely driver assignments to load and deliver them.  In the last couple years, we heard stories about shipments being held for pick up after what is called "pick and hold" for protracted periods until a driver is found and assigned to the shipment.  Less scrupulous movers, apparently not concerned with quality service and customer satisfaction, just left shipments unloaded and failed to show up at all in some cases. These companies took deposits, promised dates and never delivered on their promises. 

Major carriers, the ones we use, are taking steps to insure their success in delivering on time household goods shipments by retaining and recruiting experienced and quality drivers,  Everyone moving wants a satisfactory move, and the driver of the truck is the boss of the actual day to day activities of the move.  They organize the move, hire the crews to load and unload  Attracting these drivers and move boss' requires compensation and job satisfaction just like any other important job.  Their compensation and benefits come directly from the prices paid by the shipper (customer).

Even national accounts like Consumers Relocation must respect some of the pricing demands that dictate satisfactory moves for our customers.  The less scrupulous movers can continue to deeply discount the cost of moves to the customer now, require large deposits, with the promise that they will pick up the shipment on time and deliver it in a timely manner in the busy season (May-September).  We hear too many stories of these movers not showing up or delaying the shipment for long periods of time until a truck is available after the move has been booked and dates promised.  We get the calls from these shippers looking for us to assist them in finding a mover at the last minute since the cheap mover they chose cancelled the move.

Quality Van lines are making these price adjustments now for moves in May through September although we are not quite there yet.  Shippers need to think ahead to their moving time frame and anticipate this shift in pricing.  At Consumers Relocation we have long standing, written transportation agreements with all the movers we use for our customers.  These agreements dictate the terms of responsible pricing, full value protection for the shipment, pick up and delivery performance, and claims settlement parameter for delays in shipment and damage.  These terms protect, as much as possible, all of our customers from financial surprises and hardships due to delays in shipments and damage.

At this time of year in particular, these assurances for satisfactory moves are so important to all shippers (customers).  Choosing the right mover can save thousands of dollars in the end, even though it might be tempting the find the cheapest possible mover for a move.  The old saying "you get what you pay for" comes into stark reality during the most stressful time for any family; moving.

We are offering several containerized shipping solutions through companies with years of experience in that business.  Containerized shipments are most often used for shipments under 5000 lb. where they would occupy a smaller amount of space on a large moving truck  The advantage of this solution is a predictable load the delivery schedule, full pack in some cases, Pricing for this service is normally a flat rate per container.  Sizes of container vary by company.   Very predictable pricing. 

Let our experienced Consultants guide you through this busy summer season of moving.  "We have your back "  in pricing options, setting up your moving dates, checking with van lines prior to moving day that a driver has actually been assigned, and all aspects of your move.  We are your resource to insure the best possible outcome for your move with our vetted, long term van lines relationships. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Household goods shipments and pricing options

The ever changing household moving business has created so many different variations in pricing options in the last several years.  Every different pricing option has a different twist that must be considered to truly understand what the end cost of a move will be!  Additionally, we are seeing a building demand for containerized shipping options, which has certainly come a long way offering many full service options in this area.

For many years household goods pricing basis was a tariff called the 400n; published and maintained by the Household Goods Bureau.  Variations from the tariff had to be filed; but were normally minor.
Discounting off this tariff was huge, and mostly rates were discounted upwards of 55 to 60% off the tariff.  National account agreements, like what Consumers Relocation enjoys, offered other benefits in addition to a predetermined discount.  These other benefits, which we still have, include full value protection up to a certain level, performance promises for crew quality, pick up and delivery windows, claims settlement periods, and overall quality of service assurances. 

Now, most Van Lines have developed and filed their own tariffs which slightly resemble in some cases the 400n, but in many cases to do not.  Some very attractive features are now built into these new pricing models which provide interesting price protection and simplify what you will pay. 
It is VERY important to understand these nuances since they in the end could save thousands of dollars!  One great example is eliminating the cost of a shuttle at destination if needed.  At least one company builds this cost into their overall pricing so that if a shuttle is needed, they will not charge your for it! 

Picture this, you are moving to a location that the mover has not seen during the estimate process at origin, and therefore have not idea what the access to your new home is. The company gave you a binding not to exceed price for "the services listed in your estimate"   Your 3 bedroom home worth of belongings shows up at your new home, which happens to be a narrow road and the truck will not fit down the road, and there is not place for it to turn around even if it did fit.  The driver tells you; you need a shuttle!  They rent a small truck and shuttle all of your things to the new home from a parking lot location 2 miles away.  At the end, the driver adds an additional $1500 for the shuttle and added labor time to move your things.  They had no choice. And, since shuttle services were not listed in your binding price as bound, you have to pay this added amount!

Had the move been completed by the company that had the cost of shuttle at no charge in their pricing, there would be no extra bill and your price remains the same as you expected. 

So in the end, choosing the company that appeared less expansive initially, ended up to be the more expensive option.

The variations of pricing are too numerous to list in this article.  The best way to sift through all the pricing options is to work with your CRS Consultant in comparing estimate options, and potential outcomes of the pricing and features.